Chocolate Custard Muffins
Raise your hand if you need an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast (my hand is not raised☺). If your hand is in fact raised, this muffin recipe is the excuse you've been looking for. Unlike a standard muffin or quick bread, this recipe uses cornstarch and water to make a thick custard as a base for the batter. Once baked, the dome of the muffin becomes cracked and crunchy, but the center stays soft and cake-like tender. The ingredient list might read that these are actually dessert, but with the nutritional benefits from dark chocolate and safflower oil, I like to think these are rather good for you. More importantly, these are absolutely scrumptious. Enjoy them for breakfast, pack in school lunches, serve as a snack, or sneak one in as a late night treat. They are delicious on their own, but are also enjoyed with a slather of raspberry or black cherry jam. And with Valentine's Day on the brain, I think these would be a perfect way to spread the love. I ♥ chocolate muffins.
Chocolate Custard Muffins
makes 18 standard muffins
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup water
4 1/4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 ounces (5 Tablespoons) butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup safflower or other neutral oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup and 6-cup muffin pan with liners; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside
In a medium saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa, brown sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until very thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder until melted and absorbed. Add the oil, vanilla, and one egg and beat until combined. Add the remaining egg and granulated sugar and beat again until smooth and thick. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
Using a generous 1-ounce ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pans. Bake until the tops are firm and cracked, about 25 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Muffins are best enjoyed the day they are made while the tops are crunchy, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from nigella.com